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Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby DGL. » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:28 am

and to add to the laptop argument, a lot of modern laptop will have a data line from the PSU so it knows what is connected to the power input jack, i would guess this is to allow different wattages of PSU to be supplied depending on the power requirements of the machine but use the same DC barrel jack.

For example the adaptor from my sisters HP laptop will physically fit into my DELL but it won't allow the adaptor to charge the laptop only power it as "computer says no" yet the specs are the same.

Even worse is AC PSU's but very few companies use them now luckily.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:45 am

ef37a wrote:There is a "breakpoint" however? A keyboard controller such as my Evo Ekeys49 is powered from USB and has an optional 9v input. It would be quite ridiculous to incorporate a mains supply in such a device even though there would be adequate space.
If a unit can be bus powered that's fine, but if a power connection is going to be included it should be a mains IEC - not a tiny, pin-sized hole for an external PSU. Many won't agree, but that's my stance. I've been there when PSU cables have been trodden on and snapped the power connector on the keyboard. Cue hunt for a quick replacement - and the times I've been the one to help out (and I'm talking some 'names' here!)

ef37a wrote:I also have an old Yamaha (PSS sommat) "Portasound" that needs batteries or a few watts from a rat. Where does the line get drawn as to the economical point at which to include mains power?
Again, my stance is put an IEC connector on there - no exceptions. If you choose to use batteries, that's fine, but if you can connect to mains it should have a mains connector - not a cop-out PSU connection.

ef37a wrote:I have thought of a "half way house" solution? The unit is lump powered but said lump clips into a recess in the keyboard exposing an IEC connector.
An interesting suggestion - and one I could warm to. But isn't this essentially what I'm asking for? Whether it clips on or not, it's an IEC connector. Personally I'd prefer the PSU to be hidden away and fixed solidly inside the case, but... if it's solid enough in its housing it's practically the same thing.

I like your thinking, though, mate! :clap:
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:53 am

Elf, the "clip in" PSU gets over the possible objections* to the built in PSU and avoids the redundant "plastic case in a plastic" case argument.

The answer to the old Yammy is in the name! PORTA-Sound! Battery powered but with a money saving rat option. (C cells were/are bloody expensive!)

I can actually see a drawback to a clip in supply? The bloody makers will make the fitting UNIQUE to that unit! Forcing you to buy THEIR supply. Mind you, if the synth is, as we are all pressing for, not fussy about V&I, any adequately rated lump will serve, just won't clip in. Still, since the supply would effectively be part of the kbd, not likely the cable will be borked?

Now! DO we want a 3 pole IEC or an earth free fig 8? Ideal would be 3 pole plus earth lift and/or transformer fed line outs (at neg ten and +4!) 'S all about money! Always is!

*If the PSU is "under the hood" it probably has to conform to certain safety standards. Where we came in?

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:58 am

The Elf wrote:
blinddrew wrote:Of course they can, but at what cost?
This has been put to the lie too. KT76 - 150 quid with an internal PSU? Moog One at 8 grand with an external PSU?
But KT are part of Music Group. It's not the unit manufacturing cost, it's the production line cost.
I like Dave's hybrid suggestion though. 3 or 4 different power units that all comply to a set of standards and come in standard size boxes. Bolt on the back / bottom as final stage of manufacturing.
Most users never see anything other than the IEC, unless something goes wrong - when you replace or repair the whole unit.

Get the laptop, TV and game console manufacturers on board and you'd be looking at a phenomenal reduction in waste and redundancy.

Sadly it would take something like an EU mandate for it to happen.
And Apple would still do something different...
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:10 am

Just remembered Drew, I had a printer that was a sort of half way house on the idea.

The PSU was a plastic lump about the size of a good spud and had a fig8 connector. It failed the final test because it slid into the back of the printer and made contact via two metal strips. Sill, at least there was a good chance that if that PSU fried the user could just slot in a new one.

This whole area of rampant wastage of metal and plastic JUST because one company has the cosmic ego to think everyone will go with THEIR idea has got to stop!

We only need ONE fekking power supply type for ALL the smart phones in the world and ONE PSU type could power almost all the interfaces around except the very biggest that need mains input. (and even there, who is it that gives mains AND 12 V options?)

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:36 am

We're getting there with USB wall warts powering most tablets and smartphones. I still need 4 different cables mind you (Lightning, 30 pin, mini USB and micro USB). Roll on USB C becoming truly universal.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:26 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:We're getting there with USB wall warts powering most tablets and smartphones. I still need 4 different cables mind you (Lightning, 30 pin, mini USB and micro USB). Roll on USB C becoming truly universal.
I'm sure it will - right up until USB D comes out...
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:50 pm

The Elf wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:We're getting there with USB wall warts powering most tablets and smartphones. I still need 4 different cables mind you (Lightning, 30 pin, mini USB and micro USB). Roll on USB C becoming truly universal.
I'm sure it will - right up until USB D comes out...

Since getting my first ever smart phone I have found you can pay £10.00 for a 1mtr USB A to C cable (more if you like!) or £1.00 at Pound Land and AFAICT there is no difference in performance. Might be at 3mtrs.

USB "D"? Bit cynical? A and B and 3.0 were with us a long time and the upgrade to C was I believe driven by the need for speed? How much faster can a cable connection of useful length get? Pete?

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:57 pm

Cynical?

I have 4 different USB connectors for synths and other audio gear, not to mention 30-pin and lightning apple connections. It’s pitiful!!
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:58 pm

Oh, and three different laptops with three completely different power supplies - with three completely different connectors...

And some have plugs and others have clover-leafs and another has fig8...

I have multiple spare power supplies for all my gear - and an accountant somewhere is laughing and rubbing his hands.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:12 pm

blinddrew wrote:I like Dave's hybrid suggestion though. 3 or 4 different power units that all comply to a set of standards and come in standard size boxes. Bolt on the back / bottom as final stage of manufacturing.
It can be even simpler - a standard 110-240V IEC connector!

Are you guys all so commonly experiencing power supply failures that they need to be always on the outside? The last PSU failure I had was about 5 years ago - and that was on an *external* PSU for a Novation Drumstation!
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:40 pm

The Elf wrote:
blinddrew wrote:I like Dave's hybrid suggestion though. 3 or 4 different power units that all comply to a set of standards and come in standard size boxes. Bolt on the back / bottom as final stage of manufacturing.
It can be even simpler - a standard 110-240V IEC connector!

Are you guys all so commonly experiencing power supply failures that they need to be always on the outside? The last PSU failure I had was about 5 years ago - and that was on an *external* PSU for a Novation Drumstation!

That is the whole point of the thread Elf. Internal mains supplies give problems with production lines. As I said, it is cheaper to make the whole thing run on 12 volts or so and buy in a PSU from another manfctr. Yes, SMPSUs ARE very reliable but only because the people that make them have had vast experience* doing it. For a relatively small company to design one in house is a major PITA.

The company can also be sure that the dangerous bit meets all the safety regulations around the world. In short, they hand the problem over to somebody else!

*I "grew up" with the gestation of switch mode supplies. First in tellies then in VCRs and let me tell you they were unreliable ****! And to add insult to injury, bloody hard to repair. They also did not like thunderstorms!

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby BigRedX » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:21 pm

Rich Hanson wrote:Many years back, we were setting up for a gig, I had an SY22 at the time which had an external PSU. Some klutz(*) stood on the low voltage cable, ripping the wire out of the plug into the synth. On that occasion we were lucky that the landlord had a universal supply that we could use.

(*) i.e. me

The low-voltage side of most external PSUs is appalling and they are supplied with all sorts of cludges to make the standard non-latching plug not be a liability on stage.

Both guitarists in my band, have in the last 6 months, had external PSU failures for their multi-effects pedals; one at the device end where the wrap to stop the lead being pulled out caused the cable to wear out, and the other at the PSU end.

Even if you fit these PSUs inside a rack case or on a pedal board, it's yet another thing that has to be secured into place, and I have yet to see one that makes this easy or reliable. I won't look at any equipment for live use that requires a external PSU unless it is indispensable and there is no alternative.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:59 pm

BigRedX wrote:I won't look at any equipment for live use that requires a external PSU unless it is indispensable and there is no alternative.
Yep, that's pretty much my approach. Other than laptops (for which I have at least two PSUs with me at all times) I now have *nothing* on stage with me that requires an external PSU - and that's how it's going to stay.

I'm prepared to make exceptional compromises in the studio, but it would have to be a heck of a goodie. I'm sick of having to find plugboard space for the wide/tall warts that prevent use of adjacent sockets, and find space for the line lumps with their 'just too short' cables.

But, as I said, while ever we roll over and take it - and even make their excuses for them - then manufacturers will continue to take the easy/cheap way out and leave us to make the best of it.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby Folderol » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:43 pm

I've used these for all sorts of things. Small, cheap (even from RS) and all compliance issues taken care of. All it takes is some enterprising company to stick this on an angle plate prewired with a couple of output tails and a fused IEC chassis plug.

If all the PC makers (except Apple) have been able to agree a standard PSU for years why can't the synth makers? Indeed, for the larger synths, they probably could use a PC PSU
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:35 pm

The Elf wrote:
BigRedX wrote:I won't look at any equipment for live use that requires a external PSU unless it is indispensable and there is no alternative.
Yep, that's pretty much my approach. Other than laptops (for which I have at least two PSUs with me at all times) I now have *nothing* on stage with me that requires an external PSU - and that's how it's going to stay.

I'm prepared to make exceptional compromises in the studio, but it would have to be a heck of a goodie. I'm sick of having to find plugboard space for the wide/tall warts that prevent use of adjacent sockets, and find space for the line lumps with their 'just too short' cables.

But, as I said, while ever we roll over and take it - and even make their excuses for them - then manufacturers will continue to take the easy/cheap way out and leave us to make the best of it.

I feel your pain Elf I really do! But manfctrs follow the public and the public WANTS cheap!

Now, if I was roadie'ing/techy'ing for a band (coz I can't play for **** now) and they had a gaggle of DC lumps I would put them all in case of some kind and tie all the mains cables to a common feed (they all draw bugger all) Then splice in some robust wire for the DC outs, carefully labelled for what goes where. Guitar pedals would run on rechargeable battery packs, no hum loops or twitterings!
Pickup from the Merc Sprinter, plonk on stage, find ONE 13A outlet, feed DC to kit. I am sure I could come up with some way to secure the cables to the synths? Solving **** like that was what I did for a living for ten years. Then a bit like that for 3 years at B's!

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:41 pm

Equipment that uses mains voltages requires safety certification for the territory it's sold in. Equipment than runs on 12 volts doesn't.

Rather than certifing 20 different models in each one of the territories, it makes sense to certify ONE external power supply for each territory. Or to buy it in from a specialist supplier.

And that's why we're going to continue to see wall-warts and power bricks.
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:52 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:Equipment that uses mains voltages requires safety certification for the territory it's sold in. Equipment than runs on 12 volts doesn't.

Rather than certifing 20 different models in each one of the territories, it makes sense to certify ONE external power supply for each territory. Or to buy it in from a specialist supplier.

And that's why we're going to continue to see wall-warts and power bricks.
Then why does so much gear (much of it inexpensive) have internal PSUs?
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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:31 pm

The Elf wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:Equipment that uses mains voltages requires safety certification for the territory it's sold in. Equipment than runs on 12 volts doesn't.

Rather than certifing 20 different models in each one of the territories, it makes sense to certify ONE external power supply for each territory. Or to buy it in from a specialist supplier.

And that's why we're going to continue to see wall-warts and power bricks.
Then why does so much gear (much of it inexpensive) have internal PSUs?

Who knows Ee! The world of the equipment designer is a weird one.
Often they will be given a design brief (by people who don't actually USE your particular bit of kit!) telling them. "You must use THIS loudspeaker drive unit" (coz the buyer, who is the MDs nephew cocked up and ordered 10,000 crap ones) or, "the case can be THIS long, wide deep, no more. Or.."We can't afford to build another production line for this product so it will go on the one with the 12 yr olds on it. Best no mains voltages".

Ok so that last one was a bit naughty but believe me! The reason things get made the way they do and why rarely follows a linear path and often has little logic to it.

As Mr Jagger had it? YCAGWYW...but you can try!

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Re: Internal PSU - so space isn't the issue...

Postby Folderol » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:33 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:Equipment that uses mains voltages requires safety certification for the territory it's sold in. Equipment than runs on 12 volts doesn't.

Rather than certifing 20 different models in each one of the territories, it makes sense to certify ONE external power supply for each territory. Or to buy it in from a specialist supplier.

And that's why we're going to continue to see wall-warts and power bricks.
Not the whole story.
If all the different bits of kit use a single unmodified, fully enclosed PSU module (and only that module has any high voltage parts), then only that module needs to be certified.
A company I worked for some years ago was in this situation, and the MD, rather than contacting certification companies (with a vested interest), instead talked to insurance companies.
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